English actor, comedian, and TV presenter Bradley Walsh, best known for his roles on British television, branched out into singing later in life. Born in 1960 and brought up in Watford, just north of London, Walsh was a keen sportsman at school. As a young man, he was briefly a professional soccer player for the low-division Brentford FC before ankle injuries prematurely ended his career. After a succession of low-paid jobs, he managed to break into television in 1994, presenting the weekly drawing of the then-new National Lottery. He then became a game show presenter, most notably on Wheel of Fortune, before turning to acting. His first role was as a minor character on Lock, Stock…, a short-lived spin-off from Guy Ritchie's hit crime comedy-drama film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He went on to appear in the soap operas Night and Day and Coronation Street, before landing a starring role in the crime drama Law & Order: UK, in which he appeared for five years. He also returned to game shows as host of the hugely successful The Chase.
In 2016, at 56 years of age, Walsh recorded his debut album, Chasing Dreams. Influenced by the likes of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby, he took on standards of classic vocal pop, proving himself a creditable singer with a warm, mellow, slightly smoky tone. The album, released by Sony, was arranged and produced by the renowned Steve Sidwell, and the title track was co-written by Walsh himself. ~ John D. Buchanan